Sunday, July 23, 2017


Last night I went to see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and, despite what many critics have said, I really enjoyed it.  The spectacle opens with a montage of the history of space travel and the establishment of Alpha, the titular city where representatives of a thousand planets live and cooperate with each other, with David Bowie's "Space Oddity" underneath it.  My attention was completely drawn in and it never wavered as one dazzling sequence after another filled the screen (it is one of the rare films I recommend seeing in IMAX 3D).  The narrative focuses on the destruction of a planet which federal agents Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delivigne) must investigate with the help of a few strange and magical creatures, including Bubble (Rihanna) a shape-shifting performer, and a few wild adventures, in multiple dimensions, before they solve the mystery.  If you have seen the trailers you know that the visual effects are absolutely incredible.  I was most impressed with the world-building and the character design, especially a sequence at a market that takes place in multiple dimensions at the same time (mind blown).  Unlike many, I thought the campy performances of DeHaan and Delivigne really worked and I laughed out loud at Ethan Hawke's turn as a pimp.  I even liked Rihanna who has an unexpectedly poignant scene.  In my opinion this film is funny, quirky, and wildly entertaining.  It never takes itself too seriously so I think it is destined to become a cult classic.  I highly recommend it for a really good time.

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